Own Me is the third book in the New World sci fi romance series. It’s easily read as a standalone, following the love story of a previously side character who’s grown up and is looking for a forever partner.
Austy is a down home woman, committed to making sure her family’s dairy business will succeed long into the future. Unfortunately, some con men sold her father bad devices and then disappeared when the machinery failed. They’re in debt and still need those machines to process the volume of milk necessary to expand sales beyond their Star. Austy’s also lonely. Her dear friends Cedra and Ana have both found themselves mates and now have children of their own. Austy wonders if she’ll ever find the woman for her, one who’ll treasure her devotion and make her feel loved. She thought she’d had something good with one woman, but it turned out to be a gold-digging operation that left her heart scarred.
In order to raise capital for the dairy expansion, Austy and her Pa travel to Royal One, the main Star in their cluster. (Stars are the planets settled after Earth’s demise and are mainly numbered. Austy lives on Star Three.) Cedra’s wife has an investment contact who is willing to consider their business and invest as a partner. Unfortunately, Fernand arrives late for the meeting, takes one look at Pa and Austy in the waiting room, and refers the file to his twin sister Fia, a lush and commanding dark-skinned woman who favors pink and smells, to Austy’s Felin-enhanced nose, like the ripest peach on the tree. Austy can’t even concentrate during the meeting and is surely messing everything up, but Fia’s not a lady to mix business and pleasure. And Austy could very well be the most nubile, naive sub Fia’s ever met. If Austy knew what a submissive was, that is.
Fia’s furious with her brother for meddling in her love life. She’s under no illusions that Fernand wasn’t able to add the Burkett Dairy to his portfolio. He’s just tired of watching her wallow ever since her last sub showed her money-hungry colors and disappeared for a better meal ticket. Austy is young and sweet and biddable, and their off-site meeting at an upscale sex club rather seals Fia’s need to see if she could dominate the delicious Felin–for a weekend.
Their connection is immediate, and so satisfying for both women, but reality exists and the weekend must end. It’s bittersweet to find the right match and have to adjourn to their respective lives on their separate stars. Austy has only just realized that Fia is her true Mate, but is afraid to give herself away to a woman she barely knows and isn’t sure she could trust. Fia is used to “powering through” and keeping her business going strong at the expense of her love life. Fernand has some cross words to say about that, reminding Fia that life isn’t about money, and that a portfolio won’t keep one warm at night. The only way to settle her restless heart is to see if Austy will take her back, and promise to cherish her forever.
This is a spicy, low-angst, mild Dom/sub romance set in space. It’s got all the mystique of a fully fleshed science fiction setting, with different planets, customs, and beings of all types and mods. Fia and Austy are immediately gone for one another, but their fragile hearts fear another breaking. It makes them tentative about the future, and that’s not a terrible thing. Not when there are significant logistical hurdles, like living on different stars. The gang’s all here, cheering Austy on to claim her happiness, from her devoted Pa, to Cedra, Ana, and their loving mates. Fernand has a big role in shifting Fia’s worldview to be more love-centric, and he seems to be on the verge of finding his own happiness, as the book closes. In all, it’s a super sexy read with a lot of emotions, backed by some sci fi biology. I very much enjoyed it, flying through the story since the pacing is rapid-fire. Even the wallowing is short-lived, which was nice. I love it when two determined women decide to solve a problem quickly!
If you’ve enjoyed any of the previous books, this one should go on your reading list.